Having an amazing video does you no good if no one clicks on the thumbnail to watch it. So here are some tips on how to get eye-catching thumbnails to get your audiences attention.
This blog post is an excerpt of our FREE e-book "How to Maximize Your Video Content". Download the entire e-book here.
How To Create Thumbnails That Catch Attention
Just like titles, thumbnails can immediately deter or guide viewers to your video. Having a video thumbnail in the search results can double your search traffic.
Usually, the default thumbnail when you upload a video is not the best. YouTube, Facebook, or whatever platform you are uploading to, chooses a random frame of your video to display as the thumbnail. It’s very important for you to either choose a better frame or create a thumbnail for your video.
To choose a different frame, the video editor on the streaming service you are uploading to will have an option to scrub through the video and choose a different frame or choose between a few options of select frames.
If you are making a new thumbnail, whether you use Photoshop or an online photo editor, consider these key tips for thumbnail editing:
1. Choose an Attention-Grabbing Frame of Your Video.
Take a screenshot of your video.
Mac: Command + Shift + 4, then use your mouse to drag a frame around the
area you wish to screenshot. The image will save to your desktop.
Windows: Windows key + Print Screen
2. Add text.
The majority of viewers look at a video’s thumbnail before reading the video title. Try including the video title or an engaging statement or question on your thumbnail.
3. Consider Using a Face.
Research shows that making thumbnails with eye contact get more clicks, especially if the whites of the eyes are visible. Faces with strong emotions have also shown to be most effective.
4. Design For the Small Screen.
Most online video is viewed on mobile and therefore thumbnails should work when seen large and small. Text and key images should be readable and visible even on mobile.
5. Set Expectations.
The thumbnail is just as important in telling the story as the video itself. Your
audience’s expectation is set with your video thumbnail and you do not want to make them feel like they got “click-baited”.
If they click away after a few seconds of watching your video, it tells search engines not to recommend your video anymore. Make sure that your thumbnail is easy to understand and clearly sets the right expectations.
One thing to note is that there are several exceptions to these thumbnail rules. Tech reviews, product unboxing, food, auto, and some educational videos don’t follow these thumbnail principles and are successful in their own categories. A good rule of thumb is to research what similar businesses are doing on their channels and see their level of success as compared to others.
This blog post was a small excerpt of Chapter 2 in this free ebook. If you want to learn more about how to get the most out of your video content, download it for free by clicking here.